LAKEWOOD, NJ - Matthias Dietz pitched six dominant innings to help the Delmarva Shorebirds get back in the win column with a 5-1 decision over the Lakewood BlueClaws on Friday night at FirstEnergy Park.
Dietz (2-0) had his best stuff on display for the Shorebirds (8-1), allowing one run on four hits in six innings of work. He walked none and tied a career-high with seven strikeouts, including five in a row from the second through third innings. Dietz, who threw just 70 pitches on the night, is now one win shy of matching his total from all of last season.
Julian Garcia (0-1) took the loss in relief for the BlueClaws (4-5), giving up two runs on four hits in an inning and two-thirds.
Delmarva broke open the scoring in the top of the fourth. Ben Brezeale laced a one-out double down the right field line to bring up Trevor Craport. With the infield overshifted to the left side, Craport rolled a grounder through the gaping hole to the right of second base for a single, scoring Breazeale to make it 1-0.
Lakewood got that run back in the bottom of the fifth as Quincy Nieporte led off with a double and came home three batters later on a Nick Maton two-sacker.
The Shorebirds went in front to stay in the seventh. Craport led off with a single, then after a T.J Nichting flyout, Seamus Curran followed with a base knock of his own. Zach Jarrett struck out, bringing up Ryan Ripken with two on and two out. on the first pitch from Garcia, Ripken lifted a line drive over Maton at short and into center, bringing around Craport for the go-ahead run. Curran advanced to third on the play, allowing him to score on Frank Crinella's line drive to center on the very next pitch, putting Delmarva in front 3-1.
Nichting singled to lead off the ninth, and Jarrett put the game away two batters later with a two-run homer to left. The blast was Jarrett's second of the season and gave the game its final margin.
Alex Katz picked up his second hold with two scoreless innings, and Zach Muckenhirn took care of the ninth, coaxing a 6-4-3 double play and striking out Jhailyn Ortiz to end it.
Craport, Nichting, and Curran each went 2-for-4 with a run for the Shorebirds, while Jarrett, Ripken, and Crinella drove in four of the five runs from the bottom of the order.
Maton led the way for the BlueClaws, going 2-for-3 with a double, walk, and RBI. Daniel Brito also had two hits.
Lakewood starter Spencer Howard did not factor into the decision. He gave up one run on four hits over five innings, walking none and striking out six.
Dietz's latest turn gives the Delmarva rotation six quality starts in their first nine games. The starters are posting a combined ERA of 1.79.
This was the first Shorebirds game all season that went to the bottom of the ninth. Delmarva won its first seven games at home in decisive fashion, and the home BlueClaws won on Thursday without coming to bat in the ninth.
The Shorebirds go for a 9-1 start against the BlueClaws on Saturday afternoon. Right-hander Brenan Hanifee (1-0, 3.00) gets the nod for Delmarva agianst Lakewood southpaw Damon Jones (0-1, 5.79). First pitch is set for 4:05 p.m., and pregame coverage on Fox Sports 960 AM and the MiLB First Pitch App begins at 3:50 with Will DeBoer on the call.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.